Demolition and Excavation

An Architect and Management Perspective

The Regulations established by the Legal Notice 136/19, were polarizing at best when first published. While these have established a regulatory framework for local Architects and Civil Engineers, Contractors and Clients to follow prior to being allowed to begin with the works, they have fallen short of educating the industry on what is actually necessary to be considered when undertaking certain works, or training contractors in best practices, or establishing a means to assess competency.

From a technical point of view, as Periti, we are mostly concerned with two aspects of the pre-construction process the Condition Reports and the Method Statement.

The idea of the Condition Report is in the best interest of all parties concerned, and it is necessary to ensure that reports are accurate detailed and keep in mind that in case of an event, everything will be based upon the reports submitted and presented, and not on an individual’s memory.

When treated with the respect they’re due, quite a bit of information can come out from conducting a condition report. Interacting with the third parties and developing an understanding for their concerns and explaining the developer’s intentions can create a safer and more . conscientious approach towards the development, while also facilitating the gathering of site history and issues site conditions that one might otherwise miss, such as flooding potential or the presence of buried in quarries.

Subsequently, it’s the Method Statement, which should, more often than not, be conditioned by the findings of the Condition Reports, any geological surveys carried out, and by the site itself.


In practice, Method Statements are part of Health and Safety practices requiring all parties to be privy of and to sign-off on the understanding of their content. The LN requires it to be drafted by the Perit and endorsed by the Contractor, but a proper WMS should be drafted in collaboration between both parties, rather than simply being an endorsement.

Demolition and Excavation are not driven simply by the engineering calculations made at design stage. Yes, Codes of Practice exist governing the activities, with requirements regarding disposal of waste materials in l ding contaminants arising from demolition activity, and the design for different foundation solution, however BS EN 6031:2009 in particular, guides excavation works and recommends monitoring and inspecting by the designer during the works, and how best to approach shoring, and general risk control.

The engineering aside, the Contractor also needs to pull his own weight to offer technical, practical and most importantly, safe methods for the execution of the works, with due consideration of the site itself.

Respect towards the works and the site must govern the preparation of a detailed Works Method Statement and guide an effective engineering solution in liaison with a practical approach towards the execution.

There is needed a true sensitivity towards a site’s restrictions; what should be available and in place in case of an event, how should the works be properly sequenced and, most importantly, there is the need for an individual who has the authority, confidence and ability to draw a line when there is a deviation from the plan or when there is the need to adapt to changes arising.

Ultimately, proper planning for the construction process cannot be a one size fits all exercise. Each site needs to be extended the respect and considerations it deserves and an adequately prepared plan, documented in the Method Statement, needs to be prepared harmoniously bringing together the Engineer’s technical solutions, and the practical logistics required by the Site’s Construction Management.

First Edition March/April


Marc Spiteri

Disclaimer: This article doesn’t necessarily reflects the opinion of the chamber but is exclusively the opinion of the author.

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